We have seen that Africa is a continent that has been robbed and controlled, but that has been also, paradoxically, helped a lot. More than a third of 160 billion dollars – about 54 billion – donated to the Third World every year go to the Dark Continent and half of this money slips into the governments’ pockets of countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Congo, Nigeria, Mozambique, Morocco, Uganda and Côte d’Ivoire.
These flows of money come from different sources: half of them is offered by single states – these are bilateral helps – while the other half comes from multilateral institutions and international organizations such as European institutions, IDA, Global Fund, Africa Bank, IMF, Unicef, IFAD, Arab Fund and UNDP. We must add then NGO’s funds and private donations. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, sends alone 2 billion dollars a year to Africa, against 4 billion dollars it invests in the entire world. According to inhomogeneous and often chaotic documents which institutions publish every year, we can state that every year between 130 and 150 billion dollars flow to Africa.
An amount which is worth about 115 dollars for each inhabitant. Impressive figures.
But honestly, we can’t be too astonished: Africa has always been a land of helps, maybe because, at the same time, it has always been a plundered land. After colonizers ran away during the 1960s, Western countries decided that helping Africa was a duty, maybe because they wanted to ease their minds, or maybe because they wanted to maintain their supremacy on natural resources’ use. Maybe to corrupt avoiding looking like corruptors.
According to Dambisa Moyo, a young Zambian economist, more than one trillion dollars has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. In 2009, in her book “Dead Aid”, the writer denounced the danger caused by unrecoverable loans to her continent. Most of these money flows have been swallowed up and embedded by political and economic oligarchies which were born after the decolonization process and which developed fast thanks to the problems caused by the absence of valid local authorities.
During one of her last work trip in Italy, Dambisa Moyo wanted to show how western helps to Africa had the only consequence of transforming a poor country into a poorer one. Almost 40% of Africans live on less than 1 dollar a day.
Twenty years ago, this percentage was half as much.